I completed my second month of marathon training last month, so I thought I would check in with you guys! Here are the highlights and lowlights of my second month edging towards the NYC Marathon:
1. Longer Runs
As I mentioned in my post about my first month of marathon training, I’ve been relying on the New York Road Runner’s Virtual Trainer to create guidelines for my training. I paid for the 20-week plan, but wasn’t very disciplined in the month of June, so I made a promise to myself to really focus on the training plan from July right on up to the marathon in November. So what was in store for me in August? Longer runs. Way longer runs. This was the first time in a LONG time (and in some cases, ever) where I was running over 6-7miles in one go and where I was hitting double digit runs on a weekly basis. I scheduled my long runs for Sunday mornings and over the four Sundays of August I ran a 7-miler, 14miler, 10miler and 11miler. Each of those runs taught me a LOT about pacing- and I learned that the easiest way for me to deal with the fact that I’d be running over over 1hour at a time was to break the run up into halves in my mind. So a 10-mile run was really about getting to mile 5 and still feeling good. Because once I hit mile 5, I just had to turn back around and go home! For me, the thought of “being half way home” made the longer runs easier to manage mentally. I’m learning that when you’re running long distance it’s all about mind over matter!
Okay so you would think that with all of this running I would be losing tons of weight, right? Wrong. So wrong! I’ve probably gained 5-7lbs over the course of training for the marathon. I suspect that some of it is water weight, but some of it is good old fashioned poundage! A few friends have asked me about weight loss while training and whether I’m running the marathon to lose weight. Well first off, I have to say, running a marathon to lose weight seems a bit extreme to me because there are so many less time-consuming and effective ways to lose weight! Plus, as I’ve learned, it’s really difficult to stick to a clean diet when you’re burning 1,000 calories over the course of one workout. By the time I finish a long run I’m ravenous and the LAST thing on my mind is celery! And you know what? I’m genuinely okay with the weight I’ve gained!! I’m so proud of my body right now and everything it’s shown me it can do in this training process that I could care less about five extra lbs! Marathon training has been incredibly freeing; it’s made me truly appreciate what my body can do and to praise it, not criticize it.
So I mentioned above that I ran 14miles in early August, which is the farthest I’ve ever run in my life. This was super exciting for me but was also a BIG MISTAKE. This run was one of those times when I decided I wasn’t going to following my Virtual Trainer guide (which had me scheduled for 9miles) and instead run 14. What a bonehead move- I could barely walk for DAYS! My calves, hamstrings and even my upper body was sore and miserable for over a week. I learned the hard way that pushing my body too far too fast was the surest way to ruin my recovery time and throw off my training schedule. From there on out I decided to stick with the plan and trust in the process. Slow but steady!
As your runs get longer, you have to start thinking about how you’re going to fuel your body over the course of the run. This has been the trickiest part of my second month of training thus far. Part of my struggle was that I didn’t feel hungry during my runs until it was too late! So I’m gliding along feeling great at mile 4, only to find myself exhausted, dehydrated and hungry at mile 7! I’m hoping to master my fueling strategy in month 3 of my training- there’s Gatorade, gels, bars, gummies and all manner of running foods you just have to find the best one for you. I’ve never been a fan of those runner’s belts with the containers attached, so I’m thinking gummies or something else more compact. Any marathoners out there have suggestions?
Well that’s all for now! Stay tuned for my Month 3 progress report!! 😉